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Contact Federal Government Officials

1.   “Although Trump signed a clean farm bill in December, his administration plans to impose work requirements on SNAP recipients through executive order — potentially disqualifying 755,000 beneficiaries. The Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018 authorized the structure and funding for SNAP (still known as food stamps), but the proposed rule would limit benefits to three months for unemployed and underemployed persons without dependent children. This would undo a central feature of the farm bill. Scores of advocates for the needy intend to express opposition to the proposal during a public comment period through April 2.” and  Let’s leave a public comment here to tell them to leave the SNAP program alone and how Congress voted it to be:

2.   “A 45-year-old undocumented immigrant from Mexico died in Border Patrol custody Monday after crossing the U.S.-Mexico border into Texas, marking the third person to die in the agency's custody since December.”  Let’s ask our MoCs that we want the proper care of these immigrants to be a given as they are seeking asylum.  These deaths are on our hands.

3.   As human rights abuses at ICE detention facilities continue to surface, over 70 detainees in Boston have launched a hunger strike. Now strikers are being punished and moved into solitary confinement. Let’s call Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker (617-725-4005) the Suffolk County House of Corrections (617-635-1000--press 3 for immigration) and demand that they release all the strikers from solitary confinement, listen and engage with the strikers’ demands, and provide proof of (questionable) authorization for holding inmates for more than 90 days.  We can also post on Governor Baker’s social media accounts: Facebook: Twitter:; Instagram:

4.   The September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) provides financial compensation for those "who suffered physical harm or was killed as a result of the terrorist-related aircraft crashes of September 11, 2001 or the debris removal efforts that took place in the immediate aftermath of those crashes." However, it has been determined that there is not enough funding to reimburse the claims that have been filed, and as a result, payouts will be cut by as much as 70% ( Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has announced that she will be reintroducing legislation to fully fund the VCF, and make it permanent (the current expiration date is December 2020). While the bill has not been introduced yet, let's still contact our senators and tell them that we want to see the VCF receive full funding, and to cosponsor and support Senator Gillibrand's bill as soon as it becomes available.

5.   CREW—Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington—has uncovered that “the Trump administration has failed to release a travel report, due more than 10 weeks ago. As a result, we remain in the dark about the extent to which outside groups have been funding the travel of top White House staff between April 1 and September 30, 2018.” Let’s tell our MoCs that we expect the White House to comply with ethics laws, and to investigate this failure of the Trump administration to provide the Office of Government Ethics with travel reports as required by law.

6.   Meanwhile, the ability of citizens and journalists to monitor the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has been severely hampered since early January, when the system for managing on-line Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests went dark. Let’s tell our MoCs that we expect transparency from HUD and we want them to see to it that a new public records management and tracking system for FOIA requests of HUD is instituted immediately.

7.   Last week, the Senate unanimously passed the Justice for Victims of Lynchings Act, S488, which makes lynching a federal hate crime. Let's read more at The Hill. The bill now goes to the House. Let's contact our representatives to let them know we want them to pass this bill; it's long over-due.

8.   The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reported last week that in 2018 it issued so-called "emergency" approvals to spray sulfoxaflor—an insecticide the agency considers "very highly toxic" to bees—on more than 16 million acres of crops known to attract bees. Nathan Donley, a senior scientist with the Center for Biological Diversity, says "The EPA is routinely misusing the 'emergency' process to get sulfoxaflor approved because it's too toxic to make it through normal pesticide reviews." Let's read more at Ecowatch. Let's contact the EPA to express our displeasure and also let our MoC's know that the more we learn about the essential value of bees, we oppose bee-killing pesticides.

9.   The DC chapter of March For Our Lives (March For Our Lives DC) has launched a new campaign to put pressure on the Senate to pass S.42 (the universal background checks bill in the Senate). MFOL DC is collecting hand-written letters from constituents all over the country urging their Senators to support S.42. MFOL DC (with the help of any interested volunteers/organizations) will hand deliver all of the letters on March 25th (the day after the anniversary of the March For Our Lives). If we would like our organization to partner on the campaign, we can sign up here:…/become-a-partner (Current partners include Team ENOUGH, Future Coalition, 50 Miles More, and the Brady Northern Virginia Chapter in addition to over 5 other March For Our Lives chapters.)  If we want to help deliver letters in DC, we can sign up here: 


Other Actions

1.   Our understanding of the depth of the North Carolina election fraud in the November 2018 9thdistrict Congressional race grew on Monday with testimony from people involved in the fraudulent actions: As the North Carolina Board of Elections mulls what to do, let’s take a moment to let them know that the eyes of the world are on them and we expect a fair outcome:

2.   If we attended one of the 275 national protests on Monday regarding Trump’s declaration of a national emergency ( , let’s take a moment to thank the organizers of the one we attended.

3.   A black student exercising his legal right not to say the Pledge of Allegiance has been arrested and charged with two misdemeanors which occurred after he was provoked by a substitute teacher who did not know the rules.  The school did not press these charges against this child.  We can join Color of Change asking that these charges be dropped, and that this young student not face a lifetime of negative consequences for exercising his legal rights. When we click on this link, we will find more about the situation and a petition we can sign:

4.   Once upon a time, “plastics” was a punchline from the 1967 film, “The Graduate.” Today, plastics, which are made from fossil fuels, are a menace to the environment. Let’s check out this blog to see what each of us personally can do to minimize the use of plastics in our lives: 

5.   The Alabama Press Association has suspended the membership of the Democrat-Reporter following its publication of an editorial calling for the Ku Klux Klan to "night ride again."  Let’s thank the group:   

6.   The US Chamber of Commerce issued sharp criticism of the declaration of a national emergency on the border, saying the move would "erode" the country's system of government. More at The Hill. The US Chamber of Commerce is a generally conservative organization so let's tell them that we agree with them. 

State Actions

1.   MOST:  California Attorney General Xavier Becerra has led the charge to file suit along with fifteen other states against Trump’s declaration of a national emergency: The other fifteen states in addition to California are: Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, and Virginia. If our state is on this list, let’s take a moment to thank our attorney general and if not, ask him/her to join the suit:

2.   MOST: “[S]ome ‘nonprofit’ charter schools take public money and pay their owners with it. When this happens, it creates an enormous incentive to overpay for facilities and supplies and underpay for things like teachers and student services.” Let’s share this article: with the editors of our regional newspapers of record, and let’s tell our state legislators to investigate the charter schools in our states and close loopholes that permit financial abuses of public funds.

3.   CO:  The Colorado State legislature, which flipped blue last November, is moving on gun safety legislation. Lawmakers have introduced HB19-1177, which "would empower family members and law enforcement officers to ask a court to issue an Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) temporarily blocking an individual's access to firearms when they pose a risk to themselves or others." Let's contact our state representatives and ask them to support this bill, here:

4.   MI: One of the ballot proposals that was passed in November included no-reason absentee voting ( Absentee voting applications for the May 2019 election are now available, along with instructions: Let's help spread the word to Michiganders that more of us can take advantage of this option and encourage our communities to participate in every election.

Marches/events/webinars/Tweetstorms to attend/organize

1.   On Friday, February 22, from 9:00 AM to 2:30 PM (EST)  DemLabs is holding a Digital Storytelling workshop in Washington, D.C. Experts will review their storytelling projects and the apps used to create them.  The workshop is free, but space is limited. RSVP here.

2.   On February 26, from 5-7PM (PST) Showing Up For Racial Justice (SURJ) is offering a webinar on “Understanding Antisemitism and its Intersections with White Supremacy & White Nationalism”. This webinar is aimed at strengthening our collective movements for liberation. Our goals are: 1) to enable people to recognize anti-Semitism 2) learn how antisemitism intersects with white supremacy and white nationalism 3) develop a shared commitment to ending anti-Semitism alongside all oppressions.  We can find more info here: and register here:

3.   On March 15 there will be Youth Climate Strikes all over the world.  Let’s keep an eye on this site for updates of where and when we can attend and help: 


1.   Trump can’t run the Mueller playbook on New York feds -

2.   Nothing to declare: Why U.S. border agency's vast stop and search powers undermine press freedom -

3.   Gilded Age 2.0: U.S. Income Inequality Increases to Pre-Great Depression Levels -

4.   Did Russia Affect the 2016 Election?  It’s Now Undeniable -


Contact Federal Government Officials

1.   The House is scheduled for District Work Periods this week, returning to Wash. DC next Monday, Feb. 25. (Source: House Majority Leader Calendar)  On Tuesday, the Senate is scheduled for a pro-forma session only. (Source: Senate Floor Schedule

2.   Trump’s “emergency” declaration “sets a precedent that a president can, without regard to an actual existence of an emergency . . . evade the normal democratic process and fund projects on his own,” said law professor William Banks, co-author of “National Security Law and the Power of the Purse.” “This is a real institutional threat to the separation of power . . . to bypass Congress to build a wall on his own initiative that our elected representatives have chosen not to fund.”  The National Emergencies Act expressly provides a procedure for Congress to terminate a state of emergency by passing a resolution; Congress has never used this procedure, but they should do so now.  Let’s tell our MoCs to support the resolution Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Joaquin Castro (D-TX) plan to introduce this week: 

3.   In these trying times it is important to remember our values, and to let them guide our actions. One such value is compassion, another is fair-mindedness, and both are at stake in a current Congressional fight over whether federal contractors will get backpay for work they did during Trump's government shutdown.  Many of those contractors work for low wages, living paycheck-to-paycheck, and have been left in dire financial straits, so let's call our MoC's to either stiffen their resolve or demand that they heed our call to do the right thing. 

4.   Trump’s “national emergency” for a wall allows him to divert money already appropriated for his own use. Some possibilities include the $600 million that is expected to come from the Treasury Dept.’s asset forfeiture funds, $2.5 billion from a Pentagon drug prevention program, and $3.6 billion from the Pentagon’s military construction budget, which provides money to improve housing, medical facilities, roads, and other aspects of military life. Let’s make sure our MoCs know that we want the money to be spent on the programs for which it was appropriated.

5.   The Senate has postponed a vote on naming Ronald Vitello the Director of ICE after many questions arose regarding is professionalism. One of the issues in question was a tweet in which he compared Democrats to the Ku Klux Klan. Let’s tell our Senators to vote against confirming Vitello.

6.   The Democratic National Committee needs a little encouragement to put its money where its mouth is. It has long descried the corrupting influence of corporate PAC donations on politics, but it has voted down a ban on taking such donations. Some members, including senior leadership, are afraid to forego any tool for defeating Trump and the GOP, even though these donations contribute less than .1% of the DNC's fundraising.   Clearly, they are failing to see the cost they continue to pay for this hypocrisy, so let's encourage these well-intentioned but timorous souls to embrace the courage of their convictions by letting them know that we expect them to walk the walk on getting big money out of government, and that we will support that position financially.

7.   Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan said on Friday that he is not yet sure how much money he will divert to Trump’s declared national emergency of wanting to build a border wall:  Let’s let Acting Secretary Shanahan know that the right amount is zero dollars if he is actually focused on his role of defense of our nation: Acting Secretary Shanahan, 1000 Defense Pentagon, Washington, DC 20301-1000 or on DOD Contact page: 

8.  “The newly obtained emails from 2017 and 2018 indicate that David Bernhardt, a former industry lobbyist, has been personally involved with intricacies of new policies at the Interior Department that benefit oil companies and other industries.”  Bernhardt is Trumps new nominee to head the Dept. of the Interior.  Once again Trump is supporting a person to undo the very department that the leader should protect.  Let’s tell our senators to not allow this to happen. 

9.   As we head off today to one of the hundreds of national protests in response to Trump’s declaration of a national emergency: , let’s also take a moment to let President Trump know that we consider his presidency to be the national emergency: 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, Washington, DC 20500 or comment line: 202-456-1111 (staffed by volunteers) or on Twitter @realdonaldtrump

10. For those of us trying to keep up with the ever-growing rules and regulations changes that need public comment, here is the weekly update provided by one of our own:  Here is this week's list. A number of things that weren't posted yet were posted this week, including the WOTUS rule and payday loans. There is a Homeland Security Teleconference - info at top - that includes CPB on child care (!!!!!!) and there's public participation in that you can submit comments beforehand. You must preregister - info. included here. Also, ICE Tip form - this is new to me and they are seeking comment. Also energy efficiency rollback and coal fired plants - anything EPA is a rollback of Obama regs. Here it is.

11.  The 39th mass shooting in 2019 occurred last week.  The shooter in Aurora, Illinois was a felon and should not have had a gun.  “The great majority of Americans support background checks, probably because they trust a decades-old network of digital information that seems to turn up everything from that one late gas bill at a college apartment to the vehicle identification number for every car ever purchased. We don’t know how a felony conviction fell through the cracks. Nor do we know why, once the mistake became clear, efforts to correct it fell short.” We need national background checks, but we need the teams to enforce the violations and collect guns from owners who are not allowed to have them. Let’s make sure our MoCs, federal and state, are working on sensible gun laws and funds for the enforcement of those laws.  

12. “Trump's border wall threatens 93 endangered and threatened species, including jaguars, ocelots, Mexican gray wolves and cactus ferruginous pygmy owls, according to a new study by the Center for Biological Diversity. The study also found that 25 threatened or endangered species have designated "critical habitat" on the border, including more than 2 million acres within 50 miles of the border. Trump's border wall is a disaster for people and wildlife alike," Noah Greenwald, endangered species director at the Center for Biological Diversity, said. "It could drive magnificent species like the jaguar and ocelot to extinction in the United States."  and  There is no emergency for the Wall; there is an emergency for species threatened by the Wall. Let’s call our MoCs and governors, ask them to pressure the WH and reverse the Fake Wall National Emergency. 

13. In what is being called an “outrageous” and “unprecedented” move, Christine Ciccone, formerly a senior official at the State Department and now an assistant secretary at Homeland Security, has failed to agree to an interview with investigators “despite repeated requests made to both her and her attorney over many months”;  the State Department Office of Inspector General is looking into allegations of politically-motivated retaliation against career diplomats and civil servants by Ciccone, a “key witness,” and other political appointees at State. Three congressional Democrats--House Foreign Affairs Chair Eliot Engel, House Oversight Chair Elijah Cummings, and Bob Menendez, the ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations—have demanded that Ciccone’s current boss, Kirsten Nielsen, take action to uphold the inspector general office's legal authority: or
Let’s join them in pressing Nielsen to act to preserve the critical function of governmental oversight: 202-282-8495 or Secretary of Homeland Security, Washington DC 20128.

14. ”No one should be surprised,” economist Robert Reich observed, that Trump—famous for stiffing his workers--reportedly refused to sign any government funding deal that included back pay for the estimated 580,000 federal contractors, including low-wage janitorial, food, and security workers, who were furloughed or forced to work without pay for over a month due to the shutdown:  Trump claims to be opposed to offshoring manufacturing jobs to low-wage countries, but outsourcing government work, if it relieves the government of the need to pay workers, is apparently just fine.  Perhaps it is time to let our MoCs know that we expect the federal government to hire directly the workers it needs--as well as demand back pay for outsourced workers, who are at the mercy of the federal government although technically not employed by it.

15. While it appeared that the National Butterfly Center might be spared by the legislation for the border wall, the “national emergency” may well negate that.  The day before a judge dismissed a court case that might have stopped the wall’s impact on the Center.  The ruling will be appealed, but additional funds are being sought through this account:  Let’s help if we can.


1.    Postcards to Voters' Campaign 145: Nadia Holubnyczyi for Floral Park NY Village Trustee was a short list that came and went this weekend. (We can read more about Nadia at Newsday.) Now we can request addresses for Campaign 146: Judge Lisa Neubauer for WI State Supreme Court. (More at Wisconsin Law Journal.) The election is scheduled for Tuesday, April 2. Let's request 5 addresses today.

2.   Postcards to Voters' volunteers will be watching the special election results on Tuesday for Campaign 144: Ibraheem Samirah for Delegate in Virginia.  Thanks to everyone who helped support this campaign. 

Other Actions

1.    As the field of Democratic candidates keeps growing, we need to focus on their positions on policy issues.  Political Charge is helping us do that by highlighting individual candidates and where they stand on seven issues.  Let’s make sure to follow this blog to keep up with these.  The first is on Kamala Harris:

2.   Experts in authoritarianism advise us to keep a list of things subtly changing around us, so we’ll remember.  Amy Siskind is keeping that list for us.  Amy writes, "This was a jarring week as Trump declared a national emergency after Congress refused to fund his wallperhaps his most brazen authoritarian act yet." Let's review Amy Siskind's list Week 118.

3.   If we are looking for a handy list to use with our postcarding group, one of our has one to share:

4.   If we are a Democratic woman running in the 2019-2020 election cycle, we can check out Emerge’s first national candidate boot camp of the year. Emerge is one of the top trainers for women candidates, with over 4,000 alumnae, including San Francisco Mayor London Breed and nine of the newly elected Virginia House of Delegates. Now we can learn their winning techniques when we join them in Washington, D.C. from March 22-24. In this three-day intensive workshop, experts in the field will share top notch strategies for campaign planning, fundraising, messaging and more.  We can click here to find out more and then apply now:   

State Actions

1.    MOST:  California is the first state to sue the administration for declaring a national emergency, that is clearly not an emergency. Trump himself admitted he didn’t need to do this, he simply wanted to get the wall built faster. Let’s ask our state attorney general to join California’s lawsuit. We can find contact information for our state attorney general here.

2.   KY:  Bipartisan Senate Bill 18 would make discrimination by employers for pregnancies, childbirth or related conditions illegal. We can support this by calling our Representatives at 1-800-372-7181 and asking for their support of this bill, currently assigned to the Senate Judiciary Committee. Let’s show our support for working Kentucky Moms and their children now!  We can read the key section of the bill here:  Or the full text here:

Marches/events/webinars/Tweetstorms to attend/organize

1.   Today, at locations all over the country, there will be nationwide protests against Trump’s “national emergency”.  As Dan Rather tweeted on 2/14, “I’m old enough to remember when “national emergency” actually meant an emergency to the nation and not an emergency to a damaged political ego.”   Let’s find one and attend: Whether or not we can make it to a protest, there are other actions we can take:

2.   On Friday, February 22, from 9:00 AM to 2:30 PM (EST)  DemLabs is holding a Digital Storytelling workshop in Washington, D.C. Experts will review their storytelling projects and the apps used to create them.  The workshop is free, but space is limited. RSVP here.

3.   On March 15 there will be Youth Climate Strikes all over the world.  Let’s keep an eye on this site for updates of where and when we can attend and help: 


1.    Fact-checking President Donald Trump’s claims about a national emergency

3.   Trump’s Followers Believe His Lies About the Wall: No evidence—not even from Fox News—can shake their faith -